Thursday, 4 August 2016

From pure Holsteins to mixed herd

David Foot Limited owns three dairy herds in Dorset, southern UK. The family-owned business milks about 900 cows in total. Until 2015 they had only Holsteins, but then they started to think of other possibilities.

When the herd needed more cows, the managers looked for something different that could complement the production, and VikingJersey was the right solution. “We had lot of food for our cows in 2015, so we decided to buy more cows,” laughs Sam Foot, manager of the herd. They went to Denmark and imported 130 milking cows along with some pregnant heifers and younger heifers from three different herds.

Danish imports at D. Foot Ltd.
The installations they had suited perfectly for the Jerseys. “In 2014 we built a new barn for 400 Holsteins, because the old one was too small for our Holstein cows and suit perfect for the Jerseys” explains Sam. Sam and his herd managers, John and Eddie, like both the Holstein and Jersey breeds.

Perfect complement
The plan is to keep both breeds pure in the future. Holsteins give milk volume, Jerseys give components. The business has put lot of weight on health and fertility traits into their Holstein breeding for ten years and the results can be clearly seen; a herd of harmonic, strong cows. As the Jersey cows have Danish pedigrees, they will continue using VikingGenetics. Sexed semen for the best cows and heifers meanwhile the remaining cows will be inseminated with beef.
They are also satisfied with the program VikMate, which guarantees and protects against inbreeding and they use both genomic and daughter proven sires.

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